March is National Nutrition Month and if you’re a mom (or dad) you probably have spent some time in the kitchen making meals for hungry kids.

We know from experience that some kids will try just about anything and others are picky eaters, but one of the best parts of living in Canada is that you can find everything from a spicy tikka masala to a roast beef dinner on dinner tables across the country. There are lots of different foods from around the world to discover right in our own backyard and a great way to discover them is through reading and trying out new recipes.

Getting kids involved in the kitchen is a great way to get them excited about meals and it’s also an important life skill. In this blog we want to share an amazing book from Kerry McCluskey – Niam! Cooking with Kids . Kerry has been living in the Arctic since 1993, and eventually settled down (for a time) in Apex, Nunavut. While there, she started the Mamaqtuq Nanook Cooking Club, helping children of all ages learn how to cook traditional Inuit recipes, along with other favourite recipes from down South.

“Niam!” is the Inuktitut word for “yum!” and the recipes in this book live up to the title.

“From simple smoothies to jerk chicken to pizza from scratch, there is something in this book for all taste buds and skill sets.”

Pick up a copy of Niam! Cooking with Kids (Inhabit Media) at your local library and get ready to get cooking!

For older tweens and teens, adult cookbooks are a great choice that allows them to flex their culinary expertise and their reading, math and multi-tasking skills. There are plenty of great Canadian cookbook Authors/Chefs including Anna Olson (my 12 year old loves making cookies from her books), Michael Smith, Lynn Crawford and so many more. Head to your local library to give some of these a try.

Interested in more books that have a food focus? We suggest reading Bear for Breakfast written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Jay Odjick. You won’t find any recipes in this one, but you will find a humourous story! Bear for Breakfast was on our 2019 Reading List, as was Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao, which is about making the perfect Chinese bun.

Got food on the brain? Here are some questions you can ask your children in the kitchen:
What is your favourite recipe in this cookbook?
When was the last time you tried a new food?
Can you find the ingredients for this recipe in the kitchen?
Can you help me read these recipes?

Do you have a favourite book that’s all about food? Let us know about it in the comments below.